We are over halfway through the NBA season and the MVP award race is heating up in a big way. The current odds for the MVP award show that Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo are the frontrunners.

However, former All-Star center and media personality Shaquille O’Neal has another candidate that he thinks should win the award.

“I always thought the MVP was an individual award that meant you are the baddest guy in the league. Well right now the baddest guy in the league is Joel Embiid,” said O’Neal.

“Hopefully the media doesn’t penalize him and choose a guy with a team that has a better record than him.”

Embiid is having an excellent season, averaging a career-high 29 points per game with over 10 rebounds per game as well, all without All-Star running mate Ben Simmons, who has been out all season long for the Philadelphia 76ers.

It is unclear when the Ben Simmons saga will be done in Philadelphia, but Embiid has proven so far this season that he is very capable of leading a team to success on his own.

The top six seeds in the Eastern Conference are only separated by 2 games, which means that any team can jump up to the top of the conference with a hot stretch. The Philadelphia 76ers are currently sitting at the number 6 seed in the conference.

While O’Neal believes that team success shouldn’t play a factor, the fact of the matter is that it does. If the Philadelphia 76ers can play themselves into a top seed by the end of the season, Embiid seems like a perfect candidate to take home the MVP award at the end of the season.

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About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College.